How Do I Decide Where to Locate My Law Office? Part 1
Debra L. Bruce’s previous 5 part series, What Kind of Law Office Space Should I Have?, addressed the different kinds of available law office arrangements you might pursue. Today Debra starts a new series that discusses how to determine the actual geographic location of your office. Of course, if you have decided on a home office, perhaps that settles the question. If you have the option of relocating your home base, or you won’t have a home office, here are some thoughts to factor into your location decision.
Your primary practice area may significantly influence your choice of location. If you have a practice that requires you to appear in court several times a week, often on short notice, a location near the courthouse can save a lot of time.
If you have a business practice, think about where your clients congregate. Are certain industries zoned to the same part of town? Is there a high-tech or manufacturing corridor? Can you open your office in the same building as an important industry association or near a popular meeting venue for the industry? Even though most of your interaction with clients may be telephonic or electronic, some will still prefer to have their lawyer close by. If you choose a building that lets you ride in the elevator every day or eat in the same restaurants with members of your target market, you will enhance your ability to develop relationships with potential clients.
For a consumer oriented practice, clients in a large metropolitan area may choose a lawyer based on geographic convenience to them. Someone preparing a will or seeking a divorce may feel stressed or intimidated if they have to go to a congested central business district to meet with an attorney. A personal injury lawyer should have an office with easy access for people with mobility challenges. In sum, give some thought to the kind of clients you seek, and the ways that location may impact their choice of a lawyer.